Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Syn Free Lasagna ( A Slimming World recipe)

Syn Free Lasagna

So here is a delicious healthy lasagna recipe for you to try.  It is cooked with the Slimming World plan in mind, but I'm not a consultant so please check all syn values yourself if you are unsure.  The cheese used is the equivalent of your HEX A portion per person, if not it would be 6 syns.


  • 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 courgette, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (or 1 tsp of garlic granules)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g passata
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • 500g fat free natural yogurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 dried lasagne sheets
  • 160g reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  1. Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the beef mince, red pepper, courgettes, onion and garlic and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, passata and dried herbs, season and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile mix together the yogurt, eggs and nutmeg until smooth and season.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Spray a medium-sized lasagna dish with low calorie cooking spray. Spoon half the mince mixture into the base and top with half of the lasagna sheets. Spread over half of the yogurt mixture and top with the remaining mince mixture. Top with the remaining lasagna sheets, spread over the remaining yogurt mixture
    and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Calendar Girls - Aug 2017 - best historical fiction novel - #CalendarGirlsBooks

Calendar Girls is hosted by bloggers, Flavia the Bibliophile and Melanie Noell Bernard – both have amazing blogs full of fun, bookish posts. Calendar Girls is a brand new monthly blog event inspired by Neil Sedaka’s 1961 song Calendar Girl. Just like in the song, we decided to use a specific theme for each month and choose a book based on these themes! The event is meant to incite discussions with other bloggers about books we’ve read and loved, is meant to help bloggers meet other bloggers, and also for bloggers and readers to find out about blogs which they normally may not have come across! Want to know more? Click on the links above! And it’s not too late to jump on the Calendar Girl train! Join now!

Best Historical Fiction Novel

I haven't read as much historical fiction as I would like. Which isn't the same as saying I haven't read any historical fiction - I have, at least 33 novels since I started using Goodreads shelves properly. There are probably loads more that I haven't shelved properly. Either way that's not as many as I would like. My fantasy shelf, for example, has 272 books on it. Which for those of you math inclined means that my historical shelf is only 12% the size of my fantasy shelf. But all that being said I do have 4 contenders for this month's selection.

Displayed nicely with my new piertotem locomotor bookends.
1. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

It took me a long time to finally get around to this book and now I'm not even sure why it did. I've always been fascinated by Henry VIII and his wives, especially Anne Boleyn, but this and The Tudors both took me a long time to finally read and watch for some reason. I read it in 2012 and gave it 3 stars. It was really interesting. It's not about Anne, it's about her sister Mary and Mary's own relationship with Henry. It's a fascinating glimpse into what life in Henry's court might have been like for the B-List.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This one takes place in two historical time periods, 1945 and 1743 in the Scottish Highlands. There's time travel, but that's the only sci-fi element, everything else is purely historical fiction. You can tell that Diana Gabaldon spent a lot of time researching this novel, and all of that work really comes through. This one is about a  WWII nurse named Claire. She travels back to the time of the clans and meets a young clansman named Jamie Fraser. The first time I read this was in 2006 for an English class, as mentioned in an old post.

3. Paris to Die For by Maxine Kenneth

Inspired by an actual letter in the John F. Kennedy Library written by Jackie and revealing her job offer from the newly formed CIA this novel imagines what Jackie's life would have been like if she had accepted that job offer and become a CIA Operative. It's the first in a duology. It's set in 1951 with the main action taking place in Paris where Jackie interacts with real and imagined historical figures while she tries to help a Russian defect to the West.

4. Front Lines by Michael Grant

I have talked about this one before in a couple of different posts, in fact, it was my pick back in March for best novel with a war in it. It's an alternate history set in WWII and based on the question "what if girls had been able to serve in the American Armed Forces?" It's full of BAMF young women, and I can't wait to get around to the sequel next year, Silver Stars is out now and sitting on my shelf but I don't have time for it until next year.

So which of those historical novels did I chose as the best one:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

2017 Reading Challenges Update - January 1-July 31 2017

So I am doing 5 different challenges this year, 6 if you count the Goodreads challenge, so yeah let's count that. Anyway, I think that might make me some sort of masochist. I told Goodreads I was going to read at least 52 novels this year, and well...I passed that when I was at Angie's in May. Where do I stand right now? Well as of yesterday at 87/52 (167%) which you might notice is much, much more than I originally pledged. And I am not stopping, I still have 5 other reading challenges to finish, one by September 21 and the others by December 31. What other reading challenges did past!Lauren decide would be present! and future!Lauren's problems? Well, here they are:

1. PopSugar's 2017 Reading Challenge
3. The 2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge over at Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
4. My Reader's Block's 2017 TBR Challenge

Since we've just finished July I figure it's time to post a mid-year check in to see how I am doing on all of my challenges and how many/what books I have left. Because I have planned out all the books I am going to read for each challenge I know that I have 50 more books to read before December 31...wish me luck.

See below the cut for my progress, it's a huge list!